A SOCIAL OR POLITICAL HERO?
A STRUCTURED ACADEMIC CONTROVERSY (SAC) with JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN
Is Joshua Chamberlain remembered as a hero because his deeds led to a great military and political victory during the American Civil War
, or is Chamberlain’s hero status due to the fact that his character and life story exemplified so many traits valued in 19th
century American society?
“Chamberlain was a political hero and was worth remembering because he clinched a Union victory at
Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg.”
“Chamberlain was a social hero because of the compelling nature of his life story, his apparently clean character, and his strong sense of honor.”
STEP I. Reading and Preparation (~30 Minutes).
a. Using the articles below
, find evidence to support your team’s side of the controversy. Craft your position in 2-3 well-written, evidence-based statements that draw directly on the texts provided.
Document List for Side A:
Document A: Report of Col. Joshua L. Chamberlain, Twentieth Maine Infantry.
Gettysburg Campaign. July 6, 1863.
Document B: Tom Desjardin, Stand Firm, Ye Boys from Maine (New York: Oxford
University Press, 2009).
Document List for Side B:
Document A: Letter from Joshua L. Chamberlain to Governor [Israel] Washburn, Brunswick, July 14, 1862.
Document B: Letter from Joshua L. Chamberlain to his father, Brunswick, February 20,
STEP II. Position Presentation (~ 10-15 Minutes).
Side A clearly presents their position using supporting evidence from the texts.
Side B restates to Side A’s satisfaction.
Side B presents their position using supporting evidence from the texts.
Which pieces of evidence were most useful in this exercise and why? Which sources were less useful?